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ABF E-Buzz: June 2017
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ABF E-Buzz — June 2017

In This Issue:


Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

by Tim Tucker, ABF Past President and ABF E-Buzz Editor


Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.
- Albert Einstein

Those who attempt to keep bees can observe bees achieve the impossible.
- Tim Tucker

Welcome back! One of the most wonderful things I've ever experienced in this life are the miracles honey bees do occasionally and that is to fill a deep honey super in a week to 10 days. This year, we have seen a nectar flow that we haven't seen since perhaps 1999. The bees appear to be above average in their overall health and they are utilizing the conditions that are causing flowers that are blooming to now produce large amounts of nectar. During all of this, we still have colonies that are collapsing or not producing anything and yes dying. I made a comment twenty years ago that it always seemed like a third of our colonies were great, a third were average and a third were struggling or poor. That's the way it seemed for many years when I first started in the bee business.
During much of the last ten years it has seemed as if 50% of our bees are average and 50% are poor or dying. Our honey crops had been slow coming in and difficult to keep in the box. This year though things are different and I hope that it isn't just an anomaly. Our bees are closer to the level that I used to see where a third are great and a third are average and a third are poor. It's a definite change and I talk to other beekeepers around the country who are saying the same thing. Their bees are really doing much better this year and when they do it is amazing to watch. I hope that all beekeepers can experience this at some point in their experience.

We are putting on second and third boxes and my mentor always advised me to bottom super or add boxes by taking off full boxes and adding the empties above the brood chambers. Then putting the nearly full box on top, the bees would not have to walk across that box to get to areas to store incoming nectar. It always made sense to me and that's just the way I've done it since my first season with the bees. I've had many folks argue that it doesn't make any difference and they may be right. It is more work and you are lifting a heavy box off the top of the hive making it more work to check on your boxes you added last. I always hope they are full too by the time I get back so that really doesn't make a good argument against it in the long run.

This month we have a great deal of information and a report from our President Gene Brandi who had a great trip to Washington D.C. at the invitation of Mike Pence, our Vice-President. The Pence family is keeping bees there in D.C. and have kept bees in the past at the Governor’s residence in Indiana. Tim May also was along for the trip and gives us his observations in this month’s legislative report.
We have, as always, an update on our Honey Queen and Princess and their travels this past month.
Maia and Hope’s July and August schedules are packed, but they still have openings in September
and October if you would like to have one of these young ladies present at your state fair or Honey related event. They do great work for our industry.

We also must say good bye to another great friend in Dale Bauer, a long time ABF member. His obituary is included in this issue. He will truly be missed.

There's a great new recipe and lots of Buzzmakers to inform you and I hope you find lots of items of interest here each month. I would also like to invite you to our Facebook pages for the American Beekeeping Federation, Kids and Bees, The American Honey Queen Program, The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees and Friends of the Bees. Like them all and keep up with what's going on with the bees!

President's Greeting

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

The longest days of the year are upon us and bees have the maximum amount of flight time to forage for the nectar and pollen they need. I hope the beginning of summer finds your bees healthy and doing well. Honey has been flowing here in many parts of California, but lack of rain in some portions of the USA is a matter of concern for beekeepers in those areas. The opportunity for summer showers can still allow for the season to be salvaged if the rains come in time. Let’s hope that happens.

ABF Vice President, Tim May, and I received a surprise email message the first Friday in June as we were invited to attend the unveiling of a bee hive at the home of Vice President, Mike Pence, in Washington, D.C., the following Tuesday. Yes, it was short notice, but we both agreed that the opportunity should not be wasted so we booked last minute flights and attended this unique event at the Vice President’s residence within the Naval Observatory property in Northwest Washington. The Vice President’s wife, Karen Pence, was hostess and master of ceremonies. She is genuinely interested in and concerned about bees. This is not the first bee hive the Pence family has hosted, as they also had a hive at the Governor’s mansion in Indiana prior to moving to Washington, D.C.

USDA Secretary Perdue and his wife were also in attendance. Both Secretary Perdue and Mrs. Pence are very aware of the fact that bee colonies around the country are still in trouble and spoke about the need for a healthy bee population to pollinate the nation’s crops. As a matter of fact, Secretary Perdue mentioned during his prepared remarks that his sons grow berries in Georgia and rent honey bees for pollination services on their farm.

At the time of the unveiling, the hive, which will be managed by a local beekeeper, consisted of three deeps and had good flight. The gathering for this event was rather small and consisted of about 25 people including some members of the press. Several attendees were from USDA, including Kevin Hackett and Rosalind James of the National Program Staff who are focused upon bee research issues. It was an honor to be invited to participate in this event and meet Mrs. Pence as well as Secretary Perdue.

Tim and I will be in Washington, D.C. during much of Pollinator Week (June 19-23) and, along with Fran Boyd of Meyers and Associates, will visit with Legislators and regulators to address ABF legislative and government related priorities. We will stress the fact that the Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators has still not met its stated goals. In addition to the office visits, I will be participating as a panelist during a Congressional Pollinator Week briefing.

If you have not already done so, check out the ABF webinar series as there are plenty of new topics as well as the archived webinars that are available to all ABF members on the website.

The ABF Conference Committee continues to work on developing a great program for the 75th Anniversary Convention in Reno this coming January. Hope you plan to attend this grand event!

Government Relations Buzz

by Tim May, ABF Vice President

ABF President Gene Brandi and Vice President Tim May received an invitation by Second Lady Karen Pence to attend the unveiling of a new beehive on the Vice-Presidential residence. The unveiling took place on Tuesday June 2nd. Prior to the unveiling Mrs. Pence spoke about the importance of honeybees and their recent health issues. She mentioned CCD, nutrition, and pests as the main causes of the current problem. The Second Lady did not mention pesticides.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was also in attendance and reiterated Mrs. Pence’s statements regarding honeybees. After the presentation, we walked over to where the new beehive had been setup. The hive was setup and will be maintained by ECO Honeybees. ECO Honeybees is a beehive sales, service, and maintenance company serving the DC Metro area along with suburban Northern Virginia and Maryland.
After the press was done with the photo opt we were invited for lemonade and “Bee” cookies on the veranda with the Second Lady. She was a very gracious host and even gave us a tour of the residence.
Fran Boyd of Meyers and Associates is currently setting up Hill and agency visits for our DC trip on June 20-22. We discussed ABF’s 2017 legislative priorities with Fran when we were in DC and during a Legislative Committee conference call last week. We will have much to do as it is National Pollinator Week and the 2018 Farm Bill is right around the corner.


Bee Educated: ABF's Webinar Series "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Continues 

Upcoming Sessions:

Coalition Buzz: Catching up with the Honey Bee Health Coalition

Monday, June 26, 2017

8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 2:00 p.m. HST

Julie Shapiro, Coalition Facilitator & Sr. Policy Director @ Keystone Policy Center

Click here to learn more and to register!

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 2:00 p.m. HST

Shane Gabeaur, Owner

 More Details coming soon!

 A Life Well Lived: Dale D. Bauer 1933-2017

Dale Dean Bauer, 84, of Fertile, MN and Kountze, TX, died on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Sanford Hospital Fargo, ND. Dale was born on May 17, 1933, in Randolph, NE, the son of Edwin and Pearl (Martindale) Bauer.
Dale joined the United States Air Force in 1951 and was honorably discharged on December 14, 1955. After his discharge, he worked for a beekeeper in Colton, CA (Miller Honey Company) and Randolph, NE (Kuhl Apiary). This is where he first developed his love for beekeeping.
In 1957, Dale and Ivo Leiting came to Fertile and leased Parent Honey Company. In 1959, they bought the company and Dale and Ivo formed a partnership. They continued that partnership for ten years. Dale then started his own company, Bauer Honey, and a few years later added Selby Honey, Bauer Bee Feed and Supply, and Bauer Honey McClusky, North Dakota.


He officially retired 22 years ago but still never missed a day coming out to the shop to help and give advice. During his beekeeping career, he bought out several other beekeeping businesses. His bees were located in Northwest Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Texas. He held many positions in the beekeeping industry. They include President of Minnesota Honey Producers, Director of Sioux Bee Honey Association for 23 years, and served as Vice Chair of Sioux Honey for 14 years. Dale was a member of American Beekeeping Federation for 45 years. He was elected to the National Honey Board where he was the only one who has ever held three appointments on the board. He held the appointments as producer, cooperative, and importer.
In 2005, Dale received the Sioux Honey pioneer award and in 2013 he was named Minnesota beekeeper of the year.


Over the years Dale helped numerous people in the community. He did this generously and silently.

Thanks to over 4,900 beekeepers this year, we have been able to track and record the loss and management practices of beekeepers for the 2016-2017 season, our 11th consecutive year. Thank you to all who have participated!

For preliminary loss survey results, please see below.

Note: This is a preliminary analysis. Sample sizes and estimates are likely to change. A more detailed final report is being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date.


The Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA), conducted the eleventh annual national survey of honey bee colony losses.

For the 2016-2017 winter season, 4,963 beekeepers in the United States provided validated survey responses. Collectively, these beekeepers managed 363,987 colonies in October 2016, representing about 13% of the country’s estimated 2.78 million managed honey producing colonies1. An estimated 21.1% of colonies managed in the United States were lost over the 2016-2017 winter. This represents an improvement of 5.8 percentage points compared to the previous 2015-2016 winter, and is below the 10-year average total winter loss rate of 28.4% (Figure 1).

Beekeepers not only lose colonies in winter (October – March) but also throughout summer (April – September). The 2016 summer colony loss rate was 18.1%. When all the survey results were combined, beekeepers lost 33.2% of their colonies between April 2016 and March 2017. This is the second lowest rate of annual colony loss recorded over the last seven years.


Figure 1: Summary of total overwintering colony losses in the United States across eleven years of conducting the winter loss survey (yellow bars; October 1 – April 1) and across six years of conducting the summer (April 1 – October 1) and annual loss survey. Total annual loss values (orange bars) include total winter and total summer losses. The acceptable winter loss rate (grey bars) is the average percentage of acceptable yearly colony losses declared by the survey participants in each year of the survey.

The National Honey Board is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board is made up of ten members and ten alternates that meets twice a year. For more information, visit www.honey.com.

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership Inc.

Please click here for the entire article and list of references and contributors. 

Kids and Bees

Train the Trainer Opportunities

by Sarah Red-Laird, a.k.a Bee Girl, ABF Kids and Bees Program Director

This year, there are three more opportunities for you to join me at a “Kids and Bees” program. We will be running two programs at the University of Delaware, as part of the Eastern Apicultural Society conference, and one at UC Davis, as part of the Western Apicultural Society conference. These opportunities are open to you, when you register for EAS or WAS. You are welcome to join as a volunteer and work with the kids directly, or observe the program and take notes, pictures, and ideas!

August 2: Eastern Apicultural Society Kids and Bees “Fly In” program: Creating a Sustainable Beekeeping Culture. Newark, DE. Partnership with Delaware School for the Deaf. http://easternapiculture.org (2 hours)

August 3: Eastern Apicultural Society Kids and Bees Beekeeping Academy, Newark, DE. https://2017easbeekeepingacademy.eventbrite.com (8 hours)

September 5: Western Apicultural Society Kids and Bees Program at the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Davis, CA. (2 sessions, 2 hours each)

If you are interested in partaking in any program as a volunteer, or observer, please send me an email at sarah@beegirl.org.


- Sarah Red-Laird, Kids and Bees Program Director, sarah@beegirl.org

Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

June is such a beautiful month, and the American Honey Queen program is pleased to have expanded its promotional reach during this June. While it is usually a very busy month for all of us beekeepers, we have found some new and exciting promotions to visit this year in June.

Princess Hope’s June was set aside for volunteer work with a local Bible program. In between her busy days, she participated in the Texas Beekeepers Association’s annual Summer Clinic outside Dallas. Many of our organizations meet regularly in June and July. Consider inviting the Queen or Princess to participate in the next year as a guest speaker!

Maia visited two states this month: Ohio and Connecticut. She worked with the Ohio State Beekeepers Association and the Pollinator Stewardship Council during national pollinator week promoting the industry and honeybee habitat in multiple cities throughout Ohio. Her work extended to media interviews, meeting with elected officials, and promotional events in outlets like nature conservancies, libraries and more. We send special thanks to Michele Colopy for developing an outstanding promotional schedule for Maia.

Maia’s visit to Connecticut was truly unique. A local minor league baseball team hosted a honey promotion, and Maia was a guest of honor, speaking to the fans about our products, the importance of honeybees, and the diverse uses for our products and reach of the industry. She even threw out the first pitch at the ballgame. In addition to this special promotion, Maia also promoted bees’ role in pollinating strawberries at a special event at a local farm. Thank you to Becky Jones for assembling this very creative and unique promotion!

 Maia and Hope’s July and August schedules are packed, but we still have openings in September through October. Both Queen Maia or Princess Hope are eager to promote in your area, so contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to reserve some promotional time with them soon. Happy promoting!

Summer is fast approaching and our schedules are filling rapidly for honey promotions. If you are interested in hosting Queen Maia or Princess Hope for promotions in your area, please contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514.

Happy promoting!



Pollinator artnership Welcomes Val Dolcini: New President & CEO signals Bright Future for Pollinator Action

MEDIA RELEASE                                                          Tom Van Arsdall: TVA@pollinator.org

MAY 30, 2017                                                                  Lauri Davies Adams: LDA@pollinator.org



Pollinator Partnership (P2), the world’s largest non-profit dealing exclusively with pollinator issues, announced today that beginning June 1, 2017, Val Dolcini, will assume the leadership of Pollinator Partnership as President and CEO. He comes to P2 with a rich background as an effective and experienced executive with significant public and private sector experience. Most recently, Dolcini served as the Administrator of the USDA Farm Service Agency where he led the delivery of Farm Bill programs, extended credit to farmers and ranchers, and championed important conservation programs, including new tools designed to increase the quality and amount of pollinator habitat and forage. Val has had extensive experience at all levels of government and he has worked with national agricultural organizations, NGOs, media, academia, and Congress throughout his career.

Val takes over the reins from Laurie Davies Adams, whose 21 years of leadership at Pollinator Partnership brought major and substantial increases in the understanding and awareness of the plight of all pollinators. “I am thrilled to have Val Dolcini at the helm of Pollinator Partnership. He brings significant skills in building our organization and in creating real and lasting progress for the pollinators of the world,” Adams said.

Steve Shestag, Director of Environment at the Boeing Company and Pollinator Partnership Board Chair, commented, “Val’s leadership and experience are unparalleled and provide a clear focus on both the environment and agriculture, two essential areas of pollinator conservation. He will provide a strong presence for the Pollinator Partnership in the nation’s capital, but also in his home state of California, across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and beyond.”

Dolcini added, “I am very excited to lead the Pollinator Partnership. Going forward, it is critically important to redouble our efforts to develop new and deeper public-private partnerships for the benefit of pollinators and to more fully engage our fellow citizens in order to encourage greater protection of all pollinators. These are significant challenges, but working together in a spirit of good will, they are eminently achievable."

In other administrative changes within Pollinator Partnership beginning June 1, James E. Sherman will be elevated to Chief Operating Officer based in the company’s San Francisco office. “Jamie’s background in finance, biology and water issues will bring strong organizational improvements,” Ms. Adams said. “Pollinator Partnership is a formidable team working for pollinators everywhere, and it has just taken several steps forward in its leadership and effectiveness for a sustainable future for pollinator health.”


Established in 1997, the Pollinator Partnership is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research. Pollinator Partnership’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships and donations from any interested party. Pollinator Partnership’s policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor. To make a donation or for information on pollinators, visit www.pollinator.org.


Bee Thinking

Congrats to our last Bee Thinking Riddle winner: Mark Creighton !!

With pointed fangs I sit and wait; with piercing force I crunch out fate; grabbing victims, proclaiming might; physically joining with a single bite.

What am I?


Think you know the answer? The first to email Sherrell Bailey at sbailey@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize. it must be your first time to win. 

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • College offers new Beekeeping Course. Read More.
  • Beauty Is In The Eye of the Bee Holder . Read more.
  • Bees the small but vital ingredient in state's future. Read More.
  • $1 Millions Grant to Study Whether Prairies Can Help Beehives Keep the Weight on. Read More.
  • Johnson: I keep bees altruistically & for love of food and Gardening..Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members - May 2017 


  • Jennie Durant, California
  • Bruce Watkins, Alabama
  • Charity Dedrick-Evans, Pennsylvania
  • Sue Heighling, New York

Recipe of the Month: Honey Kiwi Raspberry Fruit Dip



  • 1 ripe kiwi peeled & diced
  • 1/2 cup- unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup-pure honey
  • 8 oz low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • fresh fruit for dipping



In the bowl of a food processor, combine kiwi,raspberries and honey; puree. Stir in yogurt. Serve with sliced fresh fruit. (strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, cantealoupe, honeydew melon, grapes, bananas, etc.)


Recipe By: National Honey Board (www.honey.com)


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